Top Two Ways to Recover Files from Formatted SD Card

Posted by @Ivy

March 15, 2018

In this article, I will show you two ways to recover files from SD card, including recover files from formatted SD card using CMD and SD card data recovery software.

About formatted SD card

Before you start to recover files from formatted SD card, you should get something about formatted SD card.

What is formatting?

Formatting refers to a process of preparing a data storage device such as a hard disk drive, solid-state drive, USB flash drive or memory card for initial use.

In general, your SD card will be formatted in the following three situations.

1. Unintentionally.

2. Your SD card is infected by Virus.

3. Your SD card behaves abnormal and cannot be used for data storage.

What happens when you format an SD card?

When formatting an SD card, the system will mark the space to be available for new data storage but the original files were not erased completely.

After formatting an SD card, the card will show as empty device and all data will become invisible. However, the files are not gone forever unless you add new items to the SD card. The new items will occupy the space of old files.

Can you recover files from formatted SD card?

"Mistakenly, I formatted one of my SD card, which did not be backed up. I believe there might be software that can recover my lost files, including pictures, document, word files, excel files, etc. But I don't know which one is the right software. Any suggestion will be welcome."

As mentioned above, if you do not add any new items to your SD card after you format it, your files will remain intact there. And you have a chance to get the files back.

How to recover files from formatted SD card?

SD card is very common in the daily life. Thus, there is a risk that your SD card will be formatted owing to some reasons. After that, your files will be deleted and you cannot access it.

Be relax! See below and learn how to recover deleted files from SD card.

Recover data from SD card after format using CMD

If you are familiar with command prompt, you can recover the deleted files via chkdsk.

Now, get started as the following steps.

Step 1. Connect your SD card to your computer via a card reader.

Step 2. Check the drive letter of your SD card via Computer or Disk Management.

Step 3. Type cmd in the search box on the start menu, right click it and run as administrator.

Step 4. Type the following command in the command prompt and hit Enter to run it. If the command prompt tells you the volume is in use, you can type and press Enter.

chkdsk H: /r



chkdsk is used to check the specified disk for structural corruption.

/r refers to repair attribute: tell command prompt to repair problems when it finds any.

Recover files from formatted SD card via data recovery software

If you are not familiar with CMD, you can recover files via data recovery software for SD card. In this article, I will take Recuva as an example and show you how to get the deleted files back from SD card.

Step 1. Connect your SD card to your computer and check the drive letter of it.

Step 2. Download Recuva on your computer and Start it.

Step 3. Use Recuva without the wizard. You can click Do not show this Wizard on startup in the Recuva wizard and click Cancel, then restart it.

Step 4. Scan files on the entire SD card. You can click Options and select Actions tab, then check Scan for non-deleted files.

Scan For Non Deleted Files


Scan for non-deleted files option in Recuva can scan the entire SD card for deleted files, both occupied by other data and not. This option will be useful, especially when your files have been overwritten.

Step 5. Select SD card from the drop-down menu and click Scan at the right side.

Select SD Card

Step 6. In this window, tick the lost files and click Recover


Step 7. Select a path to save the recovered files and wait for the final result.

Bonus Tips

If you do not add new items to your SD card, there is a chance to recover files from formatted SD card. But if you add new items to your SD card, your old items will be overwritten and your files will be gone forever.

Thus, recovery is not the best way. You need to take some measures when your files are intact. Backup can be one of the best ways to prevent data loss.

For this measure, you just need a proper backup and restore software. I recommend you free AOMEI Backupper.

With it, you can create a file backup. And you can enjoy more useful features during the process. You can email notification to see if your backup is completed successfully. Also, you can reduce the space your backup will occupy via encryption. You still can backup your files at Daily, Weekly, Monthly. If you just want to backup the changed part, you can use differential backup or incremental backup.

Aside by that, AOMEI Backupper still offers you corresponding features, including System Backup, Disk Backup, File Sync, etc.

Backup files with AOMEI Backupper

To backup files with AOMEI Backupper, you just need to download it and select File Backup, then follow the prompts to finish the rest of steps.


Restore files with AOMEI Backupper

To Restore files, you can click Restore and select a file backup image, then follow the prompt. If you backup the entire SD card, you still can restore files from backup via Explore Image.


This software is also applied to recover files from formatted SD card Android, recover files from formatted hard drive, recover files from a crashed hard drive, etc.